La Luna - http://www.lalunabistro.com.au/

Quick Thoughts: Unpretentious, yet elegant would best describe La Luna. It’s a place where I’d happily take a family, yet would have no issue taking a date either (assuming they’re a little carnivorous). You can tell that flavour was the first directive, and it shines through in La Luna’s dishes. And although some of the dishes may feel as if they’re on the simpler side, the flavours that come through are by no means basic.  Carefully seasoned and balanced, you can taste the great deal of care that’s been taken into creating each and every dish. The freshness of their ingredients and carefully chosen produce are obvious (price premium included) and has La Luna shining through the night of Melbourne’s offerings.

Verdict: Legit

La Luna Bistro on Urbanspoon

The Burger Lounge - http://www.theburgerlounge.com.au/

Quick Thoughts: Now there’s been quite a bit of fanfare (maybe in my social circles) surrounding the The Burger Lounge, and much of it is warranted.

They serve up what is ultimately the traditionally “Australian” burger with many a twist depending on what you choose. My pattie had cheese in the pattie, which is pretty ridiculous.

But I’d be nary to say that it does suffer from the ‘localised’ hype that tends to surround many of these more isolated restaurants and outlets in the suburbs.This isn’t to say that I believe that the burgers at The Burger Lounge are sub par by any means, but would I travel specifically to go get a burger from here? Not quite, but if I lived in Eltham or the surrounding areas I’d be more than happy to come back many, many times.  

Verdict: Would Go Back

The Burger Lounge on Urbanspoon

Rockwell & Sons - http://www.rockwellandsons.com.au/

Quick Thoughts: Great value, delicious food, an evolving menu, consistently attentive service and a relaxed ambient setting. Is Rockwell my favourite restaurant? Almost. Most definitely my favourite casual restaurant, but maybe not overall…their desserts do seem to be a bit lacking. Which leaves me to only imagine my joy once they start nailing those sweet treats!

Rating: Legit

Rockwell and Sons on Urbanspoon

Auction Rooms - http://www.auctionroomscafe.com.au/

Quick Thoughts: An antique in terms of cafe age within Melbourne, Auction Rooms continues to still deliver the goods, despite its age. Although its years on top of the cafe scene may be behind them, Auction Rooms still has enough in the tank worthy of repeat visits, and its large and open setting adds a great ambiance to go along with its evolving menu. Perfect for summer!

Rating: Legit

Little Big Sugar Salt - http://www.lbsscafe.com/

Quick Thoughts: I think a repeat visit needs to be in order to truly solidify my verdict. But as of right now, their food is pretty great, but small in portion (especially considering they’re meant to be “big” in size), which means that it’s not great value, and I’m not a fan of feeling as if I’m overpaying for something I may be able to get elsewhere for just as good, if not better quality at a lower price. Having said all this, it seems as if their menu has changed since I last visited, so maybe things are trending positively since? It’s a hard knock lyfe for Melbourne cafe owners.

Rating: Would Go Back

Little Big Sugar Salt - LBSS Cafe on Urbanspoon